On April 10, 1987, London Area Right to Life Association held its fifth annual dinner, a farewell to the outgoing executive and a welcoming of the incoming executive. Molly Kelly, this year’s keynote speaker, gave a vivacious and inspiring address, leaving her listeners with warm feelings.
Molly came from Philadelphia to be with us and said she enjoys each return visit to Canada, especially to see the friends she has made from her travels. Along with keeping busy as a mother of eight, she is also executive director of Pennsylvanians for Human Life.
Her energetic devotion to the pro-life cause is not the only reason she is an invigorating example. For the past 12 years, Molly has raised her eight children without the support of her loving husband who died in a tragic tobogganing accident with the family. Dr. Kelley was also an active pro-lifer. He spearheaded efforts to enroll physicians in the fight for life, gave many education presentations in the area, and, at the time of his death, was Vice-President of PHL.
Molly began her talk by noting the irony that Philadelphia, where 21,560 abortions are performed per year, is considered affectionately among Americans as the “cradle” of the U.S., and the “city of brotherly love.” She wonders whether these symbolic terms have run their course since the alarming number of abortions in Philadelphia makes a mockery of their meaning. True love, Molly reminds us, involves sacrifice and suffering as well as pleasure. This total love has no place in the abortion mentality.
She also laments the moral degradation of the medical community. Not that long ago her husband and his classmates followed the centuries-old tradition of taking the Hippocratic Oath, swearing not to place an instrumentation into a woman for purposes of an abortion. Today, the U.S. medical community does not provide an honorable example either. We have simply dropped that part of the Oath. Molly challenges the integrity of our physicians for playing with words, because by dropping that part of the Oath, the Oath no longer retains its overall pro-life emphasis. Would the marriage vow, she asks with tongue in cheek, retain its fundamental meaning if we s imply dropped “for better or for worse?”
The “justice” community fares no better. The infamous Roe v. Wade decision in the U.S., and Canada’s frequent acquittals of Morgentaler mean both nations have decided not to call abortion a crime anymore. Again, she asks, would stealing not be a crime even if it was done out of “necessity” or for “therapeutic” reasons?
While society’s adults certainly are in need of conversion, Molly directs her attention toward teenagers. Their exuberant responses to her talks only confirm her faith in youth. She is extremely impressed by their sensitivity, caring and wholehearted willingness to get involved in good causes. Molly refuses to use teenagers as the scapegoats for what are society’s ills. We should not blame the existence of abortion, sexual diseases, premarital sex and teen pregnancies on the teens alone when all they see and hear from adult TV programs, movies and even advertisements, is sex without responsibility.
Teens and chastity
Not only do teens need, but they want to hear about the virtue of chastity. All they hear, however, is that society does not think they can handle chastity. Instead, teens are given information on contraception. Parents must renew the confidence in their teens that society believes they can say no, and that chastity is a positive virtue worth possessing. Even if some teens will not listen, parents must still spread the message. We must not change the message, as doctors and lawyers have done. We must spread the message of love and sacrifice, not the message of contraception. If we love our teenagers, says Molly, then let ourselves not cave in to social pressure, but instead challenge society and our teens to live up to the virtue of chastity.
Molly suggests as a way to prevent the abortion mentality from invading the minds’ of the next generation, that parents should not be afraid to inform their youngsters that life begins in the mother’s womb.
She concluded by reminding us that love and joy is contagious. The more joyous and loving a manner we spread our message of love, the stronger our movement will become. We also should not despair because, unlike the other side, we have God’s truth on our side. So let us go forth with conviction and fortitude as Molly does, and make all cities truly communities of love.